Martin Dann (
Sat, 12 Oct 1996 19:37:00 +0100

In article <53oag0$>,
>Martin Dann ( wrote:
>: How did *you* arrive at this optimistic view that despite all the signs
>: we *aren't* going to screw up and make the planet uninhabitable for
>: anything but simple organisms?
>By my sometimes-worse-than-heroin habit of reading science-fiction. In
>SF literature even the most depressingly dystopian future contains the
>element of hope -- that the future is something we can *make*, not
>something that just happens.

Yes I had that habit once - kicked it - just need a Terry Pratchett now
and again but otherwise no problems :-}. One of my favourite SF short
stories involved an archeological expedition to a remote long dead
planet. As the story progresses you realise that the planet is earth,
and that the archeologists are not human. They arrive on earth and
discover unmistakable signs of an advanced (long dead) civilization. The
denouement of the story was that this was a civilization of rats. No
sign of anything earlier. I read lots like this. Sounds like modern SF
as got a lot more optimistic than in my day ;).
>: > Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as an oncoming train, are we?
>: Perhaps "we" are Czar, but at least this "we" won't be the silly bugger
>: still shouting 'free at last' when the train hits him :).
>Agreed, then! -- You proceed with a caution that would make a paranoid
>tortise look reckless, I'll be the one shouting "Damn the torpedos...!",
>and maybe between us we'll make up a sane person.

Yep - sounds about right :).


Martin Dann